Caterpillar Inc. plans to invest $140 million to build a road grader plant in North Little Rock, Ark., the company announced last week. Caterpillar will immediately begin refitting a facility formerly used for videotape and DVD production, with plans to begin production in 2010.
The Peoria, Ill.-based manufacturer said it will hire about 600 workers to staff the plan. The production work will be transferred from a plant in Decatur, Ill., that also makes mining equipment. Caterpillar needs to make room for extra production on that line, making a new facility a necessity.
Caterpillar, which recently laid off 800 workers at an Illinois motor assembly plant, said the move to the Arkansas facility will not bring about additional layoffs.
The company conducted a yearlong national search for a new facility before deciding on the Arkansas site. Caterpillar received $3 million from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe’s Quick Action Closing Fund, and may be eligible for additional state incentives.
Facility general manager Jon Harrison said the company will train workers for the plant and said the majority of workers will be local hires.